I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: Cactus Wren
"CACTUS WREN" by Tina C. Wells, Acrylic on canvas, 8"x8"
A quick get-away took us to Carefree, AZ. We sat on our secluded desert porch and watched this little cactus wren hop from plant to plant. I love the polka-dotted belly and tail. 

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: In the Garden
"Garden Roses" By Tina C. Wells, acrylic on canvas

For me, painting is often a solitary endeavor. I’m an introvert by nature, and my time painting is usually a wonderful escape for me. I can think, and dream. I pour out some creativity, and in turn, I magically get filled up. This is true most of the time. But sometimes, I am fortunate enough to spend time painting with a friend, which fills me up in a different way. One lovely afternoon, my friend Gracie and I set up our paints outside, picked some roses from my garden and placed them in an old silver pitcher, and painted. We laughed and talked and played with our paints. It was a wonderful change for me.  Less focus, less pressure, more freedom. I look at this painting and it makes me smile at the memory.

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: Giraffe

Genevieve’s room has many special things. Her bed (headboard and footboard) and vanity were my grandmother’s. Purchased in New York in the 30’s, I love the beautiful carved wood. The walls feature hand painted butterflies which are beautiful, graceful, and represent new life. Genevieve loves giraffes, so I wanted to include one in her room to add some fun and whimsy.


"Happy Birthday Cake!" art by Tina C. Wells
For a special birthday for my grandmother a few years back, I decorated a simple white cake with flowers, and later painted a small 12" x 12" canvas of the image. It makes for festive decor when celebrating a birthday. 

This past weekend, my little Genevieve left the 'terrible 2's' behind and turned three years old! Such a big girl now. We had a sweet celebration, all in an Alice in Wonderland theme...specifically a Mad Hatter Tea Party. With both boys and girls coming to the party, and Genevieve's love of tea parties, it seemed like a good fit.

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: ROSES!

"Pale Roses" by Tina C. Wells

This painting looses its punch on the computer screen, as the size is what makes it unusual. It is quite large, 30”x40”. When viewed in person, each rose is about the size of a dinner plate!  
I have roses on the brain this week as I am preparing for my daughter’s third birthday, Mad Hatter Tea Party, “painting the roses red”, etc...more on that next week. As I am planning, prepping, and baking up a storm, I thought I would share with you these fun Rose Cakes... 

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: HOME

"Chandelier" by Tina C. Wells, Acrylic on canvas

This chandelier makes me want to come inside, stay a while, relax with friends. 

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: Spring!

"Rabbit in Lilies" by Tina C. Wells, acrylic on canvas
I painted this a number of years ago, and always take it out in the spring. The weather is warming up a bit. Brightest, verdant green is popping out everywhere. My roses are starting to bloom. The birds have returned to their little nest tucked away under my balcony, and I hear their babies chirping. Every few days I catch a glimpse of a bunny scampering under a bush when he sees me coming. It is a beautiful, hopeful time of year. Warm spring wishes.

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: St. Patrick's Day
"St. Patrick's Day Breakfast" Mixed Medium on Canvas by Tina C. Wells
Rainbow (sprinkles), check. Gold coins, check. Green shamrock, check. Irish blessings, check. Ready for St. Patrick's day! 
I started this piece by collaging several traditional Irish blessings onto the canvas for my backdrop, then glazed over it with a translucent celadon green...then onto the best part, doughnuts and coffee! Below, I have included the words of these sweet, old poems. Enjoy.

An Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.


"Plumeria" Original art by Tina C. Wells, acrylic on canvas
Spring is a just two weeks away, and these oversized tropical flowers fill me with warm thoughts. This piece was commissioned by a dear friend from college. It hangs brightly in her inviting dining room. 

"Orchid Spray" by Tina C. Wells, Acrylic on Canvas
I find orchids unique and beautiful. They are one of the few flowers that can grow well indoors. 
A few tips:
Water only every 5-12 days. Overwatering is the most common mistake. 
Not blooming? Try more light.
The leaves are an indicator of enough light; they should be bright green. 
(Dark green, not enough light... Reddish green, too much light)

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: Valentine
This piece was born out of experimentation and whim. It is layered with images that make me smile, and ended up looking like a big homemade valentine...the best kind.
"My Favorite Valentines" mixed media on canvas by Tina C. Wells

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: LOVE!

"Love Never Fails" Acrylic on canvas by Tina C. Wells
I absolutely love Valentine's Day! While viewed by many as a romantic celebration, I think of it as a time to shower a little affection on all those I love...friends, family, kids, spouse. The nice thing about Valentine's Day is that there are not a lot of expectations; no one expects a valentine card or gift, except perhaps your significant other. A sweet little remembrance in the form of a card or homemade goodie is then an unexpected treat that delights. 

"Love Never Fails"...inspiration from I Corinthians 13.

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: SNOW!

"Winter" by Tina C. Wells, Acrylic on canvas
This icy cold scene was created in anticipation of SKIING! My annual Mammoth ski trip with my Dad, sister, and uncle is coming up. Can't wait!  But first, off to a quickie trip to Big Bear with my son and cousins. SWOOSH!

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: WHIMSY 

"Fantastic Ride" by Tina C. Wells, mixed media on canvas
January needed a little whimsy. Several months back, I started painting photo collages (see below). I am now putting together a collection to hang together. My goal is 12 paintings; they are small, only 10"x 10", but hung together will fill a good size space. I started this piece with a base coat of turquoise paint, then added newsprint (with mod podge) and painted over top a bit. I then added the elephant and balloons, and the photo of my kiddos. Finally, a little photo touch up with paint.  

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: Citrus!

"CITRUS" by Tina C. Wells, Acrylic on canvas

In Southern California, this is the time of year that navel oranges are hanging low on the trees. My parents have a handful of orange trees, and I grew up with their delicious sweet/tart fruit, and freshly squeezed juice. One tree, let alone several, has more fruit than a family could eat, so they have always shared with friends and neighbors. The warm citrus colors are so inviting on a winter day.

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: WORDS

"Art of the Word" Original Art by Tina C. Wells

This painting was born out of a desire to live better in 2013. The words collaged on the background of the painting are inspirational to me. My brushes beckon me to to play in the paints, be creative. I hope 2013 will be filled with these words from the book of Romans, and that I will make time and space for new and expanding creativity. 

This piece is fairly large, 24"x 36". I have been experimenting with collage and mixed medium over the last few months. I have perfectionistic tendencies, and I wanted to pull back from these and keep this painting loose and a little messy. I have a way to go in this area, but it's a start. 

The process: I haphazardly painted the background in a limited palette of colors. I then printed out the writings I wanted to use in a variety of different fonts and sizes. The paper was then torn and wrinkled; I coated the back of the paper with Mod Podge (available at craft stores) and applied it to the canvas, adding more to the top, then brushed over the paper with thin coats of paint from my background colors. Last, I painted the brushes in the jar over the top. In some spots the words show through the brushes, and the wrinkles add texture. Best of all...it was really fun! 


Metamorphosis is the Greek word for transformation. Mariposa (Spanish for butterfly) undergoes complete metamorphosis as she changes from a squishy caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly. 

The new year is here...full of resolutions, full of ideas of how to do life a little better. For me, that always includes healthier living and new commitment to being actively creative. I hope in the next days and weeks to stir up some inspiration for both.

I HEART{ART}: Inspiration: PUP!

"Christmas Pup" Acrylic on canvas by Tina C. Wells


The Tree of Life is present in most cultures around the world. I particularly like the European folk art depictions with flowers, birds and other creatures. So, I set my brushes in motion and created my own folksy tree of life. The loose, whimsical style made this project fun and enjoyable. 

European Tree of Life, acrylic on canvas by Tina C. Wells

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: TABLE

I have rotating art in my home...as well as rotating decor, dishes, and color schemes. I guess my artist nature gets a little bored and needs to change it up. For me, seasons are a natural path to change the decor. My house is pretty small, so the question is always “WHERE do you keep all this stuff?” Fortunately, my little cottage has an attic! I feel like Ariel from The Little Mermaid when she goes to her sea cave where she keeps her found treasures.  
We are all changing our home decor this season, as Christmas demands. I always take out these two paintings I did a couple of years ago; they are a compliment to this season when there is much gathering around the table together.

"Serving Pieces" by Tina C. Wells, acrylic on canvas

"Silverware" by Tina C. Wells, acrylic on canvas
Reprints on canvas of these paintings are available for sale at my Etsy store:  www.etsy.com/shop/WinsomeWren

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: TREES

"Steadfast" by Tina C. Wells

This tree of paint, if it were real, would be a full of life, abundance, and shelter. I love its strong roots. Life giving.

Happy Thanksgiving! 

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: BOUNTY

"Bountiful" acrylic on canvas 18x18, by Tina C. Wells

We are quickly approaching the big feast, Thanksgiving. While it is still a few weeks off, I look forward to looking around the table at my true blessings, the faces of people I love. The bountiful meal is an added benefit. May you be overwhelmed this season with all you have to be thankful for. Cheers!

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: OWL
October 31, 2012
"Great Horned Owl" original painting on canvas by Tina C. Wells
Owls are all the rage. They are on dishes, pillows, in art, crafts, ornaments, etc. I have to admit, I’m a fan. Besides the obvious, that owls are beautiful, elusive birds, I have a sentimental attachment. Owls always nested in the trees on my grandmother’s property. In the front guest room, where I always stayed, I would hear the “WHOO-WHOO...WHOOOO” at night. I have always had an owl fascination, and finally decided to paint the Great Horned Owl. 

Owls are a little spooky too; they are carnivorous and nocturnal. More than once I have witnessed the owls keen hunting skills as he swoops down on unsuspecting prey that is carried off in his able talons. I was raised on the stories of the eye-plucking-owl on Mt. Helix that somehow mistook a teenage girl as his prey. You can fill in the blanks. It is Halloween after all...so be careful out there tonight if you hear a WHOOOOOing coming from the trees. 

Have a wicked Winsome Wednesday...


October 26, 2012
"Trick-or-Treat" by Tina C. Wells, 10"x10" mixed medium

This was a fun piece to create. Last Halloween, this picture was taken of our Trick-or-Treater group...in front of the garage door. I loved creating the right setting for this photo with a little paint and imagination. 

I think the one thing I truly like about halloween (because there are lots of things I don't like) is the creativity, and role playing. Both of my kids spend lots of time dressing up (year round). I love their world of imagination, and halloween is the one time that they get to celebrate it.

Have a safe, fun evening next Wednesday!

October 20, 2012

 Inspiration: TEA

"Morning Reflection" Art by Tina C. Wells, 12"x12" acrylic on canvas

Reflecting over a cup of tea can be the perfect break in the middle of an otherwise busy day. 

The perfect cup of tea: Boil water in a kettle; once the boil has stopped, add water to teabag in teacup. Allow to steep 3-5 minutes. To keep tea from tasting bitter, do not squeeze teabag into the cup. Enjoy black or with a splash of milk and honey. Sit. Sip. Savor. 

Inspiration:  PUMPKINS!

It is safe to say that I have a “thing” for pumpkins. My husband might go so far as to call it an obsession...hmm, maybe. What I do know for certain is that October is my absolute favorite month of the year. The weather is (usually) fantastic; earthy, warm colors abound, long awaited treats arrive on the scene (like pumpkin cream cheese muffins at Starbucks), and pumpkins are everywhere. The good ol’ fashioned orange ones are great, but I especially love the white, green, cinderella, and other varieties that are available. I literally have hundreds of pumpkin photos that I have taken over the years and those have served as inspiration back at my studio. 

"Stacked Pumpkins" art by Tina C. Wells
"Blue Pumpkins" art by Tina C. Wells
"Pumpkins on a Pallet" art by Tina C. Wells
"Multicolored Pumpkins" art by Tina C. Wells
"Colorful Pumpkins" art by Tina C. Wells
"Oh Pumpkins!" art by Tina C. Wells

 Inspiration: APPLES

September 26, 2012
Apple picking in Michigan inspired an entire series of paintings:

Apples with a Bee, art by Tina C. Wells

Apples in a Basket, art by Tina C. Wells

Golden Apples, art by Tina C. Wells

Red Apples, art by Tina C. Wells

Apples on Blue, art by Tina C. Wells

  Inspiration: OCEAN
September 19, 2012

I do love the ocean. Below are a few coastal themed pieces I have painted...
ocean painting winsome wren
"Garden by the Sea" art by Tina C. Wells
ocean painting beach flowers palm trees
"Montecito Coast" art by Tina C. Wells
ocean porpoise painting
"Dolphins at Play" children's mural, art by Tina C. Wells
Sea creatures ocean paintings
"Starfish" art by Tina C. Wells
sea creatures ocean painting
"Seahorse" art by Tina C. Wells

 Inspiration:  Baby, Oh Baby!

“Elephant Love” 24”x24” Acrylic on canvas
This lovable elephant was painted for my niece, Tori’s nursery. My sister found a fantastic bedding set for the nursery, and that set the tone for everything.  From there, she and I chose colors for the walls (from her hospital bed...more about that below); three walls would be grey, and an accent wall in a deep rose. An amazing rug with a huge heart in all of her chosen colors was then added to the mix.  The color scheme and the heart rug then led to the idea for the painting. 

I have painted many nurseries and kids rooms, and I must say that it is so much fun.  I love the wit and whimsy that can be in a child’s room. Below is another nursery, that has grown with age. This was originally painted for my cousin Joshua, but several years later, their family adopted a baby girl from Africa. I remember Heather’s call to me, “Is there anything we can do to Joshua’s murals to turn it into a girl’s room?” As you can see in the photos below, the monkeys are now “dressed up,” and flowers, bows, and other pink touches were added.

The last featured nursery art is a triptych I painted for my sweet friend Kristen, who was pregnant with boy #3, to be named London. I knew she had a wild animal theme in his room, and I couldn’t stop thinking LONDON ZOO...

Inspiration: ARIZONA
September 5, 2012
"Arizona Memories", 10"x10" mixed medium on canvas, by Tina C. Wells
We took a memorable trip to the mountains north of Phoenix this summer, where the weather was cool, and the forests full of wildlife (click on the Journey tab to read more). This piece is a canvas painted with acrylic; several photos and writings were added with decoupage, and then retouched with paint. The end result is an art memory board that combined special parts of our trip into a single art piece. It captures the hundreds of butterflies we saw in the meadow in Buck Springs, the aspen grove where Kenny carved his initials, and the deer we saw leaping through the forest. I would like to create new boards for upcoming trips, and make a collection to be displayed together.

Inspiration:  BEACH
"Tidelands Launch" by Tina C. Wells

"Fun in the Sun" by Tina C. Wells

We are enjoying our last week of summer.  While the calendar says we have a few more weeks, once school starts, it feels like it's over.  We spent a good handful of lazy days playing at the seashore.  

"Tidelands Launch" is acrylic on canvas, painted for a client.  The scene is from Coronado, looking across the San Diego Bay towards the Coronado Bridge.  I spent some time photographing the area from many angles with different boats, and finally pulled together all of my favorite parts of the view.  

"Fun in the Sun" is a mixed medium piece.  I was 'playing' with paint at our last Fresh Paint workshop where we were creating "Word Art," which combined a painted background to showcase a word or phrase.  The only idea I had in mind was beach colors, as I began to create an abstract scene.  The word "Solace" was added, meaning comfort or soothe.  I often find solace at the beach as it takes me away from the busyness of life.  The other words were added as I thought about beach outings with my kids.  I then added the collage drawings and photos. This painting had little or no planning, but was a wonderful time of freely creating.  It has inspired me to continue experimenting with mixed media.       

Inspiration:  WILD
August 22, 2012

Spence's Rhino
Mischievous Orangutan
Last night we visited the San Diego Zoo.  Nighttime Zoo is one of my favorite summer rituals.  The crowds of the day have left, and the weather has cooled. The fantastic 
artistic performances are not to be missed.  And as the day turns to night, the huge banyan trees come alive with Japanese lanterns and peacocks strutting the branches.  The Skyfari is a great way to end the evening as you sail across the zoo with a view of Balboa Park, the Coronado Bridge, and the twinkling lights of downtown.  My 6 year old nephew is visiting for a few days.  He especially loves animals, so a trip to nighttime zoo seemed like a great treat for all of us.  The two pieces above I recently painted for his wild-animal-themed bedroom.

Inspiration:  KIDDO!
August 14, 2012
"Fly, Genevieve!"  24x36, acrylic and photo collage on canvas

My daughter's room has been a work in progress, and I am far from finished. I seem to take small steps toward my end goal...finally painted the room lavender, finally took down the crib, decided on a butterfly theme, etc. Today, I started the fun part, the creative part.  I might actually start to move a little more quickly now because I am getting excited. I had the idea to incorporate a photo of my daughter into the painting.  I thought she would love to see herself as a butterfly in her own special room.  She was excited indeed!  I captured her last week in this photo, and while it wasn't an amazing picture, it worked just fine for the overall effect.  After using the method of decoupage to attach the photo, I retouched it with a little paint, to help it blend into the art. The final touch was to add her name.  With a name like Genevieve, she will need all the help she can get learning to spell it.  Hopefully seeing it in her room everyday will help.  I hope to do more experimentation soon with this mix of paint and collage.  Love the whimsy. 

Inspiration:  SUNFLOWERS
August 8, 2012

My series of Sunflower paintings grew out of some photos I had taken on a trip to Michigan.  We had been apple picking on a crisp September day (something I don’t do in Southern California, where I live).  As we were weighing our apples to purchase, I spotted sunflowers growing near the orchards and blowing like crazy in the wind.  I started snapping away with my camera.  I was taken with the movement in the vivid golden petals against the clear blue sky backdrop. A few days later, we were wandering through the artsy little town of Saugatuck, when I spotted more sunflowers growing along the side of an old warehouse that had been painted brightest red.  The blooms had bees buzzing madly around them.   I whipped out the camera and clicked away again.  These provided great inspiration back at home, and I recreated the moments on canvas with enthusiasm.  

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE the baby butterfly!! I also love that we are both experimenting with mixed media! Keep it up - it looks great. Love the blog so far :)